Coronavirus

Stop Trying To Create a Zero-Risk Society

We will likely grapple with the consequences of ill-advised COVID-19 policies for years to come.

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A lot has been said about the harm to people resulting from government lockdowns imposed in the name of fighting COVID-19. However, lockdowns aren't the only misguided policies that we've had and continue to endure because of this pandemic. In fact, we will suffer many tragic effects from the pandemic-induced changes long after lockdowns are lifted and the coronavirus is endemic.

The case against lockdowns is pretty well established. In fact, contrary to accusations issued by lockdown advocates, one doesn't have to believe that COVID-19 isn't a serious disease to oppose lockdowns. Nor does one have to make the claim that doing nothing would have worked wonders in controlling this nasty virus. All you have to show is that lockdowns do not control the spread of the virus any better than less draconian alternatives. In fact, when all costs are considered, such as the short- and long-term health, educational and psychological harms the lockdowns caused, their costs far exceed their benefits.

It's also hard to avoid the label of tyrannical policy today when still talking about lockdowns a year into this pandemic. Many academic studies about their lack of effectiveness and enormous evidence of their harms are available, yet lockdowns aren't fully lifted, and many schools still aren't opened. It's particularly frustrating since it has become obvious that those protesting the lifting of these policies—aside from the politicians who directly or indirectly benefit from them—are the wealthier and politically connected people who are less affected by lockdowns than most.

However, there are other terrible consequences of the pandemic response that we'll have to live with long after the lockdowns are lifted. The main one is the utterly insane expansion of federal spending. It's traditional for the federal government to expand during emergencies. Yet the size of the response this time around is both unprecedented and unwarranted. Uncle Sam's $6 trillion (so far) in COVID-19 relief spending can't be justified based on the GDP loss, on wage and salary losses, or on any other measures.

A second round of individual checks, independent of how COVID-19 has affected their income, or unemployment benefits that pay workers more for being unemployed than from working, could worsen people's expectations of what Uncle Sam should do for us or what benefits we're entitled to.

Furthermore, this spending is turning into more debt. Federal indebtedness now stands at 136 percent of GDP. And that's before President Joe Biden's COVID-19 relief package. It's hard to overstate how insane it is that these levels are rising without an end in sight. Debt reached unprecedented heights during World War II, but it was always projected to fall when the war ended.

It's now fashionable to claim that debt doesn't matter. After all, we've been warning about the unsustainability of our debt for years. True. It's also true that a full-on debt crisis may not happen for years. But that doesn't mean that it won't ever happen. Just looking at the numbers reveals the inevitability of such a crisis. Who will finance our debt when it reaches 300 percent of GDP? Who will finance the debt Uncle Sam will need to pay for the $101 trillion in unfunded liabilities accumulated by Social Security and Medicare?

Debt crises take a long time to develop until they're suddenly upon us. But before that happens, we will still have to live with the other nasty side effects of our overbearing debt such as new taxes, big cuts to entitlement programs and slower economic growth. All of these effects will, once again, affect poorer people the most.

Finally, perhaps the greatest cost of the policy reactions to COVID-19 is that it will have left Americans believing that governments can and must do anything to achieve a zero-risk society. That mindset means spending trillions of dollars on any bills that pretend to protect us from adversity. But it also entails a worrisome tolerance for intrusive policies, such as vaccine passports, daily symptom surveys in schools, a permanent mask mandate in planes, and many other forms of hygiene socialism, regardless of the merits of these policies.

Yet, as economist Steve Horowitz recently wrote to me on Facebook, "The reality is that we can never achieve" a zero-risk society, and "the costs of trying to are enormous, in terms of both material resources and human freedom."

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NEXT: More Checks Are Coming After Congress Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Bill That Has Little To Do With COVID-19

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  1. The spending galls me almost as much as the tyranny, which almost galls me as much as the public’s acceptance of said tyranny, except that I think I understand why — the original prognostications were of such dire emergency that a two week lockdown seemed plausible as an emergency measure — they were predicting something worse than Ebola. At least it’s a plausible excuse for the two week lockdown to flatten the curve, if you ignored the cruise ship, the Italian age figures, and the long delay in China announcing it which should have proved it was actually pretty mild.

    What the spending shows is that it had gotten so out of hand from before that it was beyond comprehension. Like people who have to make emergency charges on a credit card, it gets so high that it is no longer real and “in for a penny, in for a pound” takes over. Or like all those big butt celebrities, who are the result of plastic tits getting more and more outrageous, long past the point of plausible. Another trillion here, another trillion there, who’s counting? We got an emergency!

    I see two bright spots.

    1. Gonna make it awful hard to pile on trillions for the Green Raw Deal. The Greenies will try, for the same reason as above, but they don’t have enough votes to ram it through, and the few sane critters left in Congress are enough to block it.

    2. It has piled up so fast that I think inflation is coming back. This is not like TARP in 2006-8; unemployment was about as low as it could get before the lockdowns, and it is itching to get back there. There is nothing to soak up the quantitative easing or the trillions in relief, and all that extra money fighting for the same resources can only mean inflation. That too will put a crimp in Green Raw Deal plans, and the Dems only have a year or year and half before the 2022 campaign season stops all Congressional activity cold. Midterms generally go against the President’s party, and the 2020 loss in the House, the less than expected gains in the Senate, and the close call against Trump, means the public is fed up with woke spenders. 2022 will be a disaster for the Dems. How the Republicans will screw it up, I do not know, but since trump isn’t up for election, he won’t be a factor; the Dems will lose both Houses, and Kamala will do everything in her power to keep Biden in office, because she doesn’t want to be associated with the 2023 and 2024 mess.

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    2. Trump is still screwing it up for GOP. GOP would have won both GA senate race and controlled the senate if it hadn’t been for Trump’s antics.

      1. Lol. Yeah. Faith in the elections plummeting is all his fault and not the fact of the actual elections. People were talking about the results before trump said a word. Statisticians were pointing out the huge outliers the night of the elections. The fact that virtually no audits were allowed. That government was claiming cleanest election ever.

        But yes, blame him. Makes total sense.

        1. Everything is because Trump.

        2. I voted for Trump, both times because the Libertarian party put up such losers *and* my state (Georgia) was polling with razor thin margins. I was basically a single-issue voter (SCOTUS appointments) and Trump’s lists looked a lot better than Clinton or Biden’s, and Johnson nor Jorgenson were ever going to put anyone on the Supreme Court.

          Having said that, I agree that Trump’s inability to STFU cost him the election and the two Georgia Senate seats. Hell it cost him a debate…Joe was wandering around going to hang himself with his inability to put two sentences together, but Trump COULD NOT SHUT UP FOR FIVE SECONDS.

          Then he lost–let’s not dive into the “stolen election” bit–but he could have helped to hold the Senate. Instead he actively told the true believers to stay home. He injected himself in the most negative ways humanly possible into those two races. It certainly cost both candidates votes. Maybe they both still lose even if Trump did everything he could to actually help, but he didn’t do that.

          1. A agree. It was really his and the GOPs to lose because of ridiculous antics. After Trump caught COVID, he could have said “This is serious folks. Be safe and wear your masks. We’re selling MAGA and American Eagle masks at our shop.”

      2. “Trump is still screwing it up for GOP…”
        Stuff your TDS up your ass so your head has some company.

      3. He absolutely is. And I agree 100%. Trump cost conservatives the Senate. Trump has destroyed the GOP and all standards of decency it may once have had.

    3. . Gonna make it awful hard to pile on trillions for the Green Raw Deal.

      Every democrat accepts that challenge.

      1. Yah. I don’t think the cost of the Green New Deal will even be a sticking point. No matter how big, how outrageous it is, the bulk of the loud, activist public will be saying, “You aren’t spending enough.”
        After all, it’s For The Childen™.

      2. No, not every Democrat. They only have a ten seat majority in the house, 0 seat majority in the Senate. Doesn’t take many fiscal turncoats to block this, and the $1.9T relief bill raised enough eyebrows that the trillions more required for the Green Raw Deal will not pass. Besides, the Dems have so many other things to do, like gun control, Title IX, woke education, transgender rights — all those are going to rile up too many people to preserve those slim 10-0 majorities.

    4. How the Republicans will screw it up, I do not know, but since trump isn’t up for election, he won’t be a factor

      They’ll do everything in their power to try to make him a factor. They’ll attempt to link every Republican up for re-election to Trump no matter how tenuously. Also, expect their media mouth pieces to blather endlessly about “Trumpism” without ever taking 5 seconds to define what the fuck they’re talking about beyond “Orange man still bad.”

      That, and some Republican somewhere can always be counted to say something stupid and the media to force every single other Republican to spend the next two weeks answering questions about it and refuting the stupid shit that was said.

      1. I wasn’t clear enough. If Trump were to start a third party, it would not be a factor in 2022 because it will be for President only. There isn’t time for any new party to field very many candidates for 2022. Thus Trump is not a factor in 2022. Of course politicians of every variety will trot out his name, and he will be all over the place, but he is not running.

    5. 1) We’ve seen Manchin’s word is worth approximately shit and the GOP is loaded with idiots who cannot wait to vote with Dems…so the GND will pass. And likely with some Republican support but DEFINITELY with Manchin’s.

      1. Manchin is a Democrat in what is now a solid-red state, and he’s up for re-election in 2022. Short of ballot stuffing measures in Charleston and the college towns, I don’t see how he gets re-elected. With all the Republican Senators retiring before the mid-terms, the Dems may be willing to offer him up as a sacrificial lamb in exchange for control of those other seats.

    6. the original prognostications were of such dire emergency that a two week lockdown seemed plausible as an emergency measure

      Again, people like Ron Bailey were panicking over something worse than the spanish flu and the plague combined before even COVID-18. See any given Swine flu, bird flu, ebola, and zika freakout. Their fears were obviously unfounded, based on some absurd concept of 1920s level of medical and communications infrastructure in 2020, and thin fig leafs to cover up their desire to vaccinate people against their will and otherwise “reduce other peoples’ risk for their own good”.

    7. higher debt results in inflation until (and only until) the money is spent – and deflation after that and until the money is repaid.

      There is still a lot of money that is going to be created from these ‘relief’ packages. And you can see it starting with housing prices and stock market. That’s where the inflation is/will happen from now on since the initial money from that govt debt has been spent and the only stuff still to be spent is the private debt pyramid built on that ‘risk-free base’ of govt debt. The current owners of those assets are and have been huge beneficiaries of this entire year and will continue to benefit going forward.

      Hyperinflation (not inflation) will result if the debt is repudiated but I don’t see that even remotely on the horizon right now.

    8. Like people who have to make emergency charges on a credit card, it gets so high that it is no longer real and “in for a penny, in for a pound” takes over.

      There’s been a definite air of the sunk-cost fallacy inherent in a lot of this.

    9. they were predicting something worse than Ebola

      Given that COVID-19 killed more people in 2020 than Ebola has killed in all of human history, yes it is worse than Ebola.

      1. Based purely on how contagious it is, sure. But I think just about anybody under the age of 70 who doesn’t have massive pre existing conditions would rather snort pure COVID off a dirty toilet seat than even risk a tango with Ebola.

      2. yes it is worse than Ebola.

        Ebola has 99% survival rate.

        It comes down to how you define “worse”

        1. GD missing edit button…

          That was **SUPPOSED** to say that:

          Ebola has a less than 50% survival rate and COVID has a greater than 99% survival rate

  2. I agree with all of this but I would go a step further: the socialists and banksters who pushed these destructive policies knew perfectly well how disastrous they’d be. That was the point – to exploit the crisis for profit and power. Throw in a medical industry that benefits from increased obesity and mental illness, and it was an unstoppable tsunami. I tried to fight it from the beginning but it wasn’t enough.

    Weight gain and obesity are a far greater threat to the health of the kids than the virus.

    The core problem is that there simply aren’t any big opportunities left under capitalism (unless you want to cure cancer or stop global warming or create a new flavor of dog food to hawk on Shark Tank). So this pandemic was the pefect vehicle to push other schemes. We have to start accepting that we simply are at the end of history and it’s time to take the profits we’ve made and retire (cheaply). The alternative is the chaos of bankruptcy and inflation.

    1. Can you imagine what the news would be like if the reporters and PSA’s scolded people for unhealthy eating and lack of exercise to the same extent they scold people for not wanting to follow every COVID recommendation?

      1. Yeah, I’ve said similar. We’ve wrestled with obesity/heart disease for decades and Paul Ryan was between anecdote and freak for doing P90X. COVID comes along and, suddenly, lard asses from JB Pritzker to Chris Christie are going on the news to “demonstrate leadership in their commitment to public health” by getting the vaccine. If they really gave a shit about setting an example and committing to public health, they’d broadcast an hour of themselves on the treadmill every morning.

        Imagine where we’d be with heart disease and public health if, for the past decade, half the politicians in the country routinely broadcast themselves putting in the hard work and discipline it takes to burn off their largesse.

      2. Fat shaming bastard!

      3. Fat Americans are the reason Covid became a crisis…sorry but it is true, 70% of hospitalizations were obese. My failure or adherence to mask wearing is a mere drop in the bucket, but I get it, we are not allowed to mention how unhealthy most people are. The pro-lockdown crowd all scream ” we don’t want to suffer the consequences of your irresponsible behavior!” Well here we are, but the behavior is your bad diet and lack of exercise.

        1. Fat Americans are the reason Covid became a crisis…sorry but it is true, 70% of hospitalizations were obese.

          +10000

    2. The core problem is that there simply aren’t any big opportunities left under capitalism…
      Totally and completely false. Always was, always will be.

      1. OK I forgot teleportation.

        1. Among billions of other possible advances.

            1. Don’t know how to cite the future.

              1. AddictionMyth hasn’t told us how he wrote about it and told us about it yet so in his mind it’s impossible.

    3. Weight gain and obesity are a far greater threat to the health of the kids than the virus.

      Weight gain/obesity, cancer, smoking, medical malpractice… and the list grows exponentially as you exclude age demographics from the top.

    4. Except you can’t retire cheaply on whatever you’ve managed to scrape together when hyperinflation makes it worth a cup of coffee and a donut.

      1. Hyperinflation that’s been supposedly just around the corner for longer than most of has been alive.

        1. I don’t think there’s been 30+T in debt and a huge hunk of the economy shut down before either.

          Even if you bring WWII into the equation. We were the industrial base for the world back then. Now? kinda China. Who own a ton of our debt…

    5. No big opportunities?! Can you imagine what’ll come to the first to do practical teleportation?

    6. Of course, COVID kills obese people. Which is one reason the USA has so many deaths, because the USA is loaded with obese people who usually have diabetes and COPD to boot.

    7. “…The core problem is that there simply aren’t any big opportunities left under capitalism…”

      The core problem is that:
      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    8. “The core problem is that there simply aren’t any big opportunities left under capitalism…”

      Huge opportunities were stifled during this pandemic and are routinely stifled by our societal refusal to freely allow the creative destruction that creates opportunities. Every effort to prop up or prop open failed businesses and people stifled potential creative destruction created opportunities not available in a century. The old economy died with the first case of Covid; rather than grabbing the opportunity of a brand new live and growing one, we reanimated the dead and rotting one into a brain and opportunity eating zombie.

    9. there simply aren’t any big opportunities left under capitalism

      1899: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of US patent office.

      And then…

      1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company

      1946: “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox

      1961: “There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States.” — T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner

      1966: “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine

      1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor

      1995: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com

      2005: “There’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” — Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube

      2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

  3. I never locked down. Went to work every day. Shopped at Kroger, Menard’s, Harbor Freight and Walmart. I eat out once a week with a friend. I wear a mask wear it’s required . If their going to send me 1400 I’ll take it, even though I think the whole bill was a sham . I plan on buying some good scotch, bourbon and cigars . Maybe some ribeye’s for the grill. Might as well enjoy myself while the country goes down the crapper.

    1. You don’t live in CA

      1. No I don’t, thankfully. I’m in Ohio.

        1. Condolences.

        2. If you made your income with a bar, or in entertainment, amusements, sports, services to schools, driving a cab, etc., you would not be thankful to be in Ohio.

          1. My sincere desire is to see governor Dipshit, or Dewine, however it’s pronounced, end up in prison.

            1. I suspect he’s got the dirt on so many Ohio politicians and officials that he’s untouchable.

    2. They aren’t actually sending you 1400. They are borrowing against present and future taxes.

      1. Where it comes from doesn’t change the fact that they are sending him $1400.

        My wife’s income means we are phased out of the checks. But I’m not even feeling like we are going to be taxed to pay for all of you schmucks: it’s all funny money anyway, never to actually be paid back. You really think there’s any way to pay off the current mountain of US debt [much less the amount Biden et. al. are piling on this year]? They might inflate it all into meaninglessness, but it’s not actually ever going to be paid back.

        1. Whether it’s paid back in dollars, blood, or slave labor, it will be paid back (wittingly or not). Maybe not all of it, and maybe not by you specifically, but that’s how it works. Moreover, even if it all will never be paid back, the large the pile grows, the less your life means in comparison to whatever fraction can be extracted from it.

          You (or me or Adans Smith) thank them for the $1400 now, but if they miss a $1400 payment later we’ll vow that there will be hell to pay because they took well more than $1400 up front.

          Whether we or the Chicomms want the money, blood, and slave labor more is really the only question.

          1. for 50 years they have been taking my money and spending it on things I did not want. They show no signs of stopping, so while I don’t think it is a wise policy, if they want to give some of their plunder back to me…I will take it.

        2. They are 100% going to inflate it all away. All your savings, the value of your labor, your actual wealth — all eaten by inflation.

          Buy bitcoin.

      2. yes…accept they were going to tax in the future anyway…at least this money we get back instead of it getting wasted on some government boondoggle.

      3. They aren’t sending me $1400 and they didn’t send me $600 or whatever it was the first time. Because I’m on the taxPAYER side of the line.

    3. It’s true in many places people just went on with their lives, wearing face diapers as needed or not at all. Only in badly run democrat states and counties did they lock down past May 2020. It’s why Pelosi is desperate to send more cash to hard hit blue states, throwing inflated money to bad politicians and crony corporatists and bootlickers.

      1. People who think Jesus and dinosaurs coexisted don’t deserve to be listened to on matters of public health science.

        1. Neither do people who think this is the modern Black Plague. It ain’t even the modern Spanish Flu.

          1. No, it’s just the second worst mass death event in American history. Winning!

            1. No, it’s just the second worst mass death event in American history.

              Objectively false by every metric and, likely, a lie.

              Heart disease and cancer, separately, still killed more people in all of 2020 than COVID, has done so for years and will continue to do so for years. As one-off events and in terms of absolute numbers the Civil War and Spanish flu still beat COVID numbers by hefty margin. In relative numbers, things like WWI and The Revolutionary War loom large.

              If you’re into unsubstantiated disinformation as fact, the Russians put up numbers that the Great Depression dwarfs them all by an order of magnitude.

            2. Consequences of about 40 years of eating fast food and lack of exercise.

              All those mask mandates and gathering restrictions aren’t going to do shit when you’re already diabetic and hoovering fried chicken every day.

      2. My state is GOP run and state government shows no signs of backing down from COVID fascism.

  4. And even when faced with direct evidence that draconian measures are of limited effectiveness, at best, like the lack of much difference in result between Florida and California, they still disparage and insult any leniency, such as Texas lifting government directives to mask up.

  5. Democrats attempt to not certify election results in order to seat their losing candidate.

    1. “In November, Miller-Meeks triumphed over Hart in a historically close race in Iowa’s 2nd congressional district; the Republican won by just six votes, or 0.0015 percentage points. This wasn’t some preliminary result, but one arrived at after a recount. Nevertheless, Hart has persisted with her challenge and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has backed her up, observing back in December that “the issue relating to Iowa is an issue for the House Administration Committee” and adding that the “House decides who it will seat.””

      1. the “House decides who it will seat”

        Of course the house decides and not the voters. That’s how you Fortify Democracy.

        1. Nancy knows best.

        2. Democracy isn’t self-executing.

      2. The undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney has exposed deep flaws in New York’s election system that undermine public faith in the state’s electoral process, voting rights advocates say.

        Those advocates say they will push for a series of state election reforms next year to make sure that the debacle in New York’s 22nd Congressional District won’t be repeated.

        The vote count has been marked by a series of bizarre twists, including missing ballots that suddenly surfaced, lost sticky notes that had been attached to ballots, a lack of transparency and a frustrated judge – all calling into question the competency of election officials.

        Those underlying problems were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, when a record number of New Yorkers took advantage of a new state law allowing any registered voter to obtain an absentee ballot and vote by mail.

        “What calls out and screams for reform is that coming into the pandemic New York was not ready for prime time,” said Jarret Berg, a New York election lawyer who works to expand voter access and transparency in elections. “We were not ready for hundreds of thousands of people to vote this way.”

        Over the past three weeks, there have been a series of turns in the counting of 60,000 absentee ballots in some of the eight counties in the 22nd District.

        During that time, Brindisi erased Tenney’s election night lead of 28,422 votes. As votes were counted and mistakes corrected, the two candidates took turns leading the unofficial vote tally.

        Lawyers for both campaigns muddied the process by challenging the validity of at least 809 ballots, a total that continued to grow ahead of the court hearing.

        In Oneida County, election officials lost sticky notes attached to a stack of ballots disputed by campaign lawyers. Election officials admitted in court that without the notes they had no way to explain the reasons why the ballots were challenged or if they had been counted.

        Madison County election officials didn’t make any markings on about 130 disputed absentee ballots, and instead gave the judge a spreadsheet that he couldn’t figure out.

        Neither county followed a state law that requires election officials to note the reasons for the objection in ink on the back of the ballots.

        Even after the judge asked the eight counties to submit final vote totals this week, Herkimer County election officials said they had to correct an error. Brindisi picked up 10 votes and Tenney 35 votes.

        Then Chenango County reported that it found 55 uncounted affidavit ballots that had been “mislaid” at the Board of Elections office.

        All of the confusion prompted a frustrated state Supreme Court Justice Scott J. DelConte to declare in court that he didn’t know how it would be possible to come up with an accurate vote count when some counties couldn’t provide accurate information.

        1. Tenney was eventually adjudicated as the winner, months after the election, and months of Brindisi making the same sort of arguments Trump made, levying voter fraud charges, etc.

        2. According to the NYT, Brindisi is going to ask Nancy Pelosi to seat him, too, like the Iowa request.

          NYT:

          Even so, the saga may not be over: The Brindisi campaign has argued that several hundred ballots that were rejected should have been counted and it has signaled that it could appeal the election results. Mr. Brindisi could also seek recourse in the House of Representatives, which has the power to order a new election or recount in the race, and potentially unseat Ms. Tenney.

          “I am shocked and surprised by this decision because of the countless errors and discrepancies that have occurred throughout this initial count,” Mr. Brindisi said in a statement. “I believe a full audit and hand recount is the only way to resolve this race. With the margin so thin, the ever-changing tally, and the countless errors that have occurred arriving at today’s final number we can’t afford to wonder here. We have to get it right.”

          The election in the 22nd District, which stretches from the southeastern shores of Lake Ontario to the northern Pennsylvania border, was a rematch between the candidates and one of the most expensive contests in the nation.

          Ms. Tenney was vying to reclaim her seat from Mr. Brindisi, who upset her in 2018, when he won by fewer than 4,500 votes in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats.

          When the polls closed on Nov. 3, Ms. Tenney had a seemingly unsurmountable 28,422-vote lead based on the in-person vote. But as tens of thousands of mail-in ballots poured in, her lead dwindled to 12 votes.

          That lead expanded and contracted, swinging in favor of one candidate or the other at various points, as the state judge overseeing the case waded through weeks of arguments from the campaigns over how different challenged ballots should be counted.

          That’s when the mishaps and errors began to emerge, threatening the legitimacy of the results and forcing an increasingly exasperated judge to order county boards of elections to revise their tallies and fix certain errors.

  6. What alarms me the most is the sheer number of people who trust that the government knows best and has their best interests at heart. Trust the experts! Trust the science! Do what you’re told! It boggles my mind that people think having your paycheck signed by the government somehow makes you some sort of noble, selfless, omniscient, and superhuman creature.

    1. The presumption is the private sector is motivated by profit which they see as inherently corrupting. The public sector serves the interests of the people, not recognizing that people who see public sector jobs are often seeking job security or authority, which are different kinds of corrupting motivations.

      The thing is they assume the worst of the private and the best of the public sector for similarly flawed assumptions.

    2. Public schools create sheep. Stupid sheep. Really stupid sheep. Then the really stupid sheep go to college and rise to the next level: retarded sheep. Some pursue advanced studies in retardation. The rest spend the remainder of their lives drooling on social media, or working in government (where drooling on social media is a job requirement).

      1. ^This^ The kids who do well in public school do well because they learn how to please their teachers by following directions. That is the definition of a sheep. In college it works even better. I once took a literature class with a proud Marxist prof. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that to get an A, all you needed to do was apply Marxist theory to whatever book we were reading and regurgitate this on the paper/exam.

        1. The kids who do well in public school do well because they learn how to please their teachers by following directions. That is the definition of a sheep.

          Per your own comment, it either produces sheep or fosters cheating and grifting. It conditions most to be sheep but it also teaches wolves and sheepdogs how to behave like sheep so as not to attract undue attention.

        2. But isn’t following directions the essence of good service to anyone who’ll pay you in the future? How is being unable or unwilling to follow directions any improvement?

          1. Starting and running your own business requires independent thinking. Don’t be a sheep.

            1. Even being a good employee requires creative and analytic thinking. Simply following directions leads to a career at the sales counter or pushing a broom.

              1. Yea, but for $15.00/hour.

                Cha-ching!

                1. You can quit working at Shop-Rite and take that online job for Boo Koo thousands of bucks $$$$$$$$.

          2. There’s a difference between thoughtful, critical thinking and just being a stubborn ass. There’s also a difference between taking expert’s proclamations into consideration and just following what these people say blindly.

            1. I’ve worked for people who did quite well by “just being a stubborn ass”. There’s a lot of enablers out there looking for a stubborn ass to ride to success.

    3. I disagree that COVID is going to increase demand for a zero-risk society and bigger government. Especially after it has passed. We have been hearing that there is no safe level of (fill in the blank-secondhand smoke, alcohol, trans fats, pot), for decades and, if anything, Covid has pulled the mask off this (pardon the pun), since places with the most strict lockdowns also suffered some of the highest death rates. I know a few people who had Covid who claimed they were doing everything the experts told them too and still got sick. So the take home message is that there will always be a risk that something bad can happen and the government can’t do anything about it.

    4. It’s not a guarantee. The government could be taken over by psychopathic religious panderers, for example.

      In the best case, government has enough resources to invent the internet, the national highway system, and space travel. Not to mention fund basic research into things like viruses.

      If you want to be seen as a better expert than scientists hired by an entity with unlimited money, then demonstrate you know how to tie your shoes first and we’ll go from there. The government skeptics lately have been taking the retard train to fucknutsville lately, so I think the burden is on them, not the people who landed robots on Mars.

      1. In the best case, government has enough resources to invent the internet, the national highway system, and space travel.

        Nigga, you really think all that shit was invented by the government? All they did was stand on the shoulders of giants and take the next step.

        1. Shitstain is too stupid to understand that he lies every time he posts.

        2. Like any good invester…

          1. But you didn’t say investment…

      2. “The government could be taken over by psychopathic religious panderers, for example.”

        Some might say it already has been, given certain values of “religious panderers” that include the entwined religions of climate change alarmism and socialism.

        1. There’s no such thing as “climate change alarmism.” And the actual religion is the denial of climate change.

          1. So sayeth our Givermint Masters, so we must BELIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVE.

            1. No, for government masters, you must OBEY.

          2. Greta Thunberg begs to differ.

  7. Debt reached unprecedented heights during World War II, but it was always projected to fall when the war ended.

    Well, it can be projected this debt’ll fall when the war against the virus en–duh, never mind.

  8. Who will finance our debt when it reaches 300 percent of GDP? Who will finance the debt Uncle Sam will need to pay for the $101 trillion in unfunded liabilities accumulated by Social Security and Medicare?

    Anybody got a link to, um, speculative fiction proposing a plausible scenario?

    1. Who will finance our debt when it reaches 300 percent of GDP?
      That is what pawn shops are for.

      1. The All USA Yard Sale will be epic.

    2. It’s actually pretty simple: Fuck you, cut spending.

      The above was based in 2018 and would require adjustment for the several trillion dollars that have been heaped on, but when we’re talking about 10% across-the-board cuts and $101T vs. $111T, it reminds me of the scene from Baseketball where Matt Stone wagers $20 against his foes they’ll win and Trey Parker ups the wager to $100. When Matt protests that they don’t have $100, Trey points out that they don’t have $20, so what difference does it make.

  9. Hopefully when it does crash it’s on the democrats watch so we can eliminate them from politics forever. Because it will crash one day, the currency so devalued and inflation sky high, no possible growth, and most living in poverty. Americans tried to vote themselves favors and we ended up with the worst possible scenario.

    The more likely scenario is that states will start to ignore the feds and break away, culturally and economically. Not a full blown secession really just an acknowledgment that the feds will have lost their steam and they won’t be able to stop it. States may start to issue their own currency and strike up trade deals with other nations. The feds will wither into irrelevancy when the populace decides to ignore them.

    1. More likely the states that mess things up the most will go to the feds for bailouts, the costs being imposed on citizens of the reasonably managed states. It’s already started.

      1. Isn’t that what just happened?

  10. If you guys think this striving for a risk-free society will stop, you are as delusional as those strivers.

    Unavoidable truth number one: in much of the western word, people want to be children. They want to avoid responsibility and reality for as long as possible. They have been coddled and like it, and want more of it–and have been told they can get it (if they support the right party). Any “work” they do has to be like a simple game, but where everybody wins.

    Unavoidable truth number two: more than enough people want to play the role of nannies. Their core motivations include compulsive compassion, indulgence, scolding, and general know-what’s-good-for-you.

    Supporting academic thesis: as promoted by Jon Haidt and colleagues in their moral foundations theory, liberals are overwhelmingly focused on just one foundation, the prevention of harm. They will pursue the reduction of harm (and, presumably, the risk of harm) to the detriment of all other moral values, including liberty.

    1. If you guys think this striving for a risk-free society will stop, you are as delusional as those strivers.

      I think the people on the side of liberty pretty openly admit that eternal vigilance is part and parcel.

      Supporting thesis: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Reagan

      1. Last Spring we found out that freedom is never more than six weeks from extinction.

  11. This isn’t about the virus. It’s about getting people jabbed and the profit that comes with it. It’s about control via proper papers. It’s about grabbing everything they can before the house of cards comes down.

    In 5 years we’ll realize 2020 WAS the good times.

  12. This is a particualr issue I have.

    Zero risk is a fallacy.

    Every decision has risk. Take a vaccince? There’s a risk. Don’t take it? There’s a risk.

    The question becomes which risks you are willing to trade (I’ll take Risk A – Benefit A, and give up this Risk A – Benefit B)

    This “problems” we see in most policy discussions (beit health care, financial instruments, executive power and accountability, climate policy, what have you) boil down it ‘I want Benefit A, and will accept Risk B).

    And when thought leaders believe we, as a people, are strong enough to make “informed” decisions (if we tell them that, they might make the RONG decisions), we are well and truly f’d.

    1. should be “And when thought leaders believe we, as a people, are NOT strong enough to make “informed” decisions

    2. Every decision has risk. Take a vaccince? There’s a risk. Don’t take it? There’s a risk.

      IMO, ^this^ is the disconnect. I’ve worked and talked with several healthcare professionals who talk about all the lives that will be saved by quarantines, masks, and vaccines. When you ask about all the lives that those measures cost and then mention the quality of life on top of it, it’s clear that the majority of them are either blissfully unaware, dimly unaware, or in denial.

      Even before COVID-19, it was widely known that medical professionals would routinely prescribe treatments that they themselves wouldn’t undergo. It’s almost like a kind of conditioning to inhuman professional detachment, like how police officers who see violence and the worst of society every day, grow increasingly accepting of similar characteristics in their own behavior.

      1. This is part of what Nassim Taleb means about skin in the game. Lockdowns make their lives easier, so they get the benefit, and don’t have to accept much of the risk. It is a form of derivative trading. Now, if the lockdown included making thme live in a tent at the hospital, I don’t think they’d agree on how necessary it really was.

        1. Exactly.
          Newsom suffered exactly zero in loss of freedom or economic costs; if he had followed his own mandates and, further, given up a sizeable portion of his income, he might have been less high-handed in his ‘royal decrees’.

    3. Humans are really bad at rational risk assessment. Consider the number of people who will drive 250 miles to go the beach, then not go into the water because they’re afraid of getting eaten by a shark.

      Car accidents 44,757 annual deaths in the US 1 in 84
      Shark attack 1 annual death in the US odds 1 in 3,748,067

      P.S.

      Hospital Infections 99,000 1 in 38

  13. Reason’s five year demonization of Trump, its cheerleading for Biden and its endorsement of the lockdowns (before the election) helped create this fiasco. But nobody at Reason has yet to even acknowledge being accomplices.

    The fake news media (which now includes Fox News and Wall St. Journal) has repeated so many lies about covid for the past year (that was caused by their partisan hatred for Trump and desire to impeach/remove him, even if destroying the economy was necessary to achieve their goal).

    This worst LIES about covid are:

    – Previously infected people are no longer immune and are at great risk of reinfection (as only 11 cases of reinfection in the US and 64 worldwide are known).

    – The only way to achieve immunity is by taking two vaccines (as studies indicate one dose confers immunity to 90% of recipients).

    – New variants of covid are more harmful and may be resistant to vaccines (as scientific evidence has found new strains are less deadly and can be prevented by vaccines and past infections).

    – Mandated business lockdowns, school closures and face masks prevented/prevent covid transmissions (as those measures just delayed the virus spread, which lengthened disastrous Democrat lockdowns, school closures and mask mandates).

    1. Since 9.0% of Americans have tested positive for covid, and since CDC estimates 4.6 times more Americans have been infected (than have tested positive), an estimated 41.4% of Americans already have been infected (.09007 x 4.6 = .414).

      Since there are just 11 known cases of covid reinfection in America (and 64 worldwide), it appears >99.9999% of previously infected Americans remain immune. Thus, previous covid infections have already conferred immunity to an estimated 41.4% of Americans.

      Since 18.4% of Americans have received a 1st covid vaccine dose, since 41.4% of Americans were already immune (due to past infection), and since the 1st vaccine dose appears 90% effective, 1st doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to about 9.7% of Americans (.184 x .586 x .9 = .097).

      But this also means 47.3% of 1st vaccine doses were given to (i.e. wasted on) already immune Americans (.087 / .184 = .473).

      Since 9.6% of Americans have received a 2nd covid vaccine dose, since 41.4% of them were already immune (due to past infection), and since 2nd vaccine doses only confer immunity to about 10% of 2nd dose recipients (who didn’t become immune from the 1st dose), 2nd doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to just 0.6% of Americans (.096 x .586 x .1 = .0056)

      That also means 94.6% of 2nd vaccine doses were given to (i.e. wasted on) already immune Americans (.0904 / .096 = .9416).

      The good news is that about 51.7% of Americans are now immune from covid, herd immunity is occurring in most states, and should occur nationwide within the next month or two.

      The calculations to estimate covid immunity rates are below, and were summed to estimate the overall covid immunity rate.
      (.090 x 4.6 = .414) Natural Immunity due to Infection
      (.184 x .586 x .9 = .097) Immunity conferred by 1st vaccine dose (.096 x .586 x .1 = .006) Immunity conferred by 2nd vaccine dose
      (41.4% + 9.7% + 0.6% = 51.7%) Total Immunity from Covid

      In sum, while past infections have conferred immunity to about 41.4% of Americans, covid vaccines have conferred immunity to about 10.3% of Americans (9.7% + 0.6% = 10.3%).

      Of the 93.69 million vaccine doses administered to Americans so far, 65.7% were 1st doses, while 34.3% were 2nd doses.

      But since 43.7% of the 1st vaccine doses were given to (wasted on) already immune Americans, as were 94.6% of the 2nd vaccine doses, 61.1% (i.e. 57.3 million) of the 93.69 million vaccine doses were given to (wasted on) already immune Americans. (.437 x .657 x 93.69M = 26.9M) + (.946 x .343 x 93.69M = 30.4M) = 57.3M

      While about 61% of the 93.69 million covid vaccines were given to already immune Americans (due to past infection and/or a 1st vaccine dose), that percentage will continue to grow (as more people become infected and vaccinated).

      1. A key problem with the news media and most politicians (especially Democrats) is they insist upon moralistically framing every risk as “safe versus unsafe”, “right versus wrong” and “good versus bad”.

        Risk assessment, risk management and risk reduction (which are critical to successful public health and safety policies) have been completely ignored or rejected by virtually everyone in the media and most politicians.

        Perhaps the worst lie about covid risks occurred a month ago when George Stephanopoulos asked Anthony Fauci
        “What should people know about reinfection if they’ve had covid?”
        at five minutes into the news broadcast at:
        https://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/lot-things-make-risk-teachers-dr-anthony-fauci-75888792

        Fauci deceitfully responded by mentioning several cases of covid reinfection in South Africa, and then he falsely stated
        “Prior infection does not protect you against reinfection.”

        That BIG LIE has been repeated by the virtually all of the news media everyday, and of course by many Democrats.

        1. It’s an objective reality. Prior infection doesn’t make you immune to future infections.

          1. Depends on the bug, you ill-read pusbag.

    2. New variants of covid are more harmful and may be resistant to vaccines (as scientific evidence has found new strains are less deadly and can be prevented by vaccines and past infections).

      The UK mutation appears to confer immunity from past infections or vaccines. So far the Brazil and South Africa mutations do not appear to confer near as much immunity. The current Brazil upsurge in cases is caused in part by people who already had the disease from exposure to the pre-mutated form of the virus.

      If I were to speculate why the US and UK in particular have been so public-health incompetent, it is because they WANT this virus to become an annual event with annual budgets in place to create an annual vaccine. Just a ton of people who benefit from that state of affairs once the possibility of that outcome is broached.

      1. “…If I were to speculate why the US and UK in particular have been so public-health incompetent,…”

        If I were to speculate as to why you lie as much as you do, I’d guess it’s stupidity rather than dishonesty.

    3. Nobody “demonized” Trump, he was a demon all on his own.

      No surprise that a Trump-worshiper like you would tell so many lies, though.

  14. “…In fact, when all costs are considered, such as the short- and long-term health, educational and psychological harms the lockdowns caused, their costs far exceed their benefits…”

    You left out the economic costs of thousands of small businesses failing.

    1. Feature, not bug.

  15. “The CDC issues guidelines GIVING LIMITED FREEDOMS….to people vaccinated against Covid”. CNN
    According to CNN, unelected bureaucrats in numerous federal government agencies are responsible for giving and taking freedoms from us.

    1. Giving freedoms to and from us

    2. even worse is unelected county level health officials having more power than the king to wreck your business

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  17. “A lot has been said about the harm to people resulting from government lockdowns imposed in the name of fighting COVID-19…”

    Actually, very little has been said about that, compared to the risks of not locking down or the risks of ignoring the ineffective government mandates.

  18. It’s also hard to avoid the label of tyrannical policy today when still talking about lockdowns a year into this pandemic.

    Today really is the one year point for most people. Since it is when the WHO declared an official pandemic, Congress started throwing money everywhere, and states of emergency started being declared. Personally I’ve found it interesting (for the last few weeks) to look back at my posts on this topic from a year ago. See what I actually said then – what I thought – what I trolled. See whether I learned anything and what that is.

    A year ago today we passed 1000 confirmed cases and 30 deaths.

    1. The only projection I made that day was – 1000 cases today, 10,000 in one week.

      Was off by a whole day. Took eight days not seven.

      The one thing I’ve learned is that – I never realized how nihilist much of what they call ‘libertarian philosophy’ really is among commenters here.

      Dead people are totally ok and acceptable – in whatever numbers – as long as they are ignored. The only person who overtly talked about 500k+ mostly old people dying – back then – as a possible benefit – was me. Mostly as a troll but partially as a solution to SS/Medicare. For that – I have been ‘waving a panic flag’ from my ass or somesuch for a year.

      Now that we’ve hit that number – for real – I do find it unbelievable that what was mostly a troll to get attention is now being ignored as to all specifics while simultaneously waving a panic flag from my ass. There is no number that can ever be real to you people is there.

      1. What was this word salad supposed to mean?

        1. He wasn’t REALLY scared, he was trolling.

      2. “…I have been ‘waving a panic flag’ from my ass or somesuch for a year…”

        No, you cowardly piece of lefty shit, you should jam your panic flag up your ass, stick first.
        You can’t read either.

      3. Re: nhilist…this is what I wrote back in May 2020

        My sin, to my mind, is thinking no more or less about the people dying of COVID than I think about the people dying of the flu. COVID deaths are not more tragic than flu deaths. Strangers dying from COVID impact me about the way way that stranger dying of the flu do, or strangers dying from falling off a ladder, or getting in a car wreck, or of cancer, or of heart attacks. If someone I love dies of COVID, is it more tragic to me than if they died of the flu, or cancer, or anything else? 8000 people die every day of something. Personally, I cannot grieve for all 8000 of them, nor do I want to try to sort out how much differently I should grieve based on how they died.

        I’m not saying that flu and COVID are the same, but I am asking why people treat them as if they are VERY VERY different? And why people ignore flu deaths as inconsequential?

        The reality is that vast (VAST) majority of people who get the flu will survive and it seems the vast majority of people who get COVID will survive, albeit at a slightly higher risk of dying. COVID *is* more deadly than the flu. Some people who get the flu will die, despite medicine’s best efforts; a somewhat larger number of people who get COVID will die despite medicine’s best effort.

        The risks are not quite the same, but neither are they so much different to me that I see much reason to treat them differently. COVID is not airborne Ebola, although we’ve been conditioned to treat it like it is.

        Prior to COVID, the flu killed 20k, 30k, 60k people varying from yer to year. The 2017/18 flu season killed between 60k and 90k, estimates vary because flu deaths are not required to be reported. I don’t recall anyone saying “Gee, we need to social distance and wear masks all the time to save these people!” If/when COVID is solved, I suspect they will go right back to ignoring flu deaths. If preventing one COVID death is worth everything we’ve been through, why is preventing one flu death not?

        Why do people seem to think that a vaccine or treatment absolves them from responsibility for spreading the flu that kills so many annually. Will they think the same for COVID vaccine? “Oh, only weak old people die from the flu…Why didn’t they get a vaccination…Why didn’t their vaccination work…”

        You could have had the flu and spread it to people already at some point in your life, maybe even killed people with your carelessness. Flu is nothing to mess with, we have vaccines and treatments and flu STILL kills 10’s of thousands of people in the US every year. Why are we not wearing masks for them?

        1. I’m not saying that flu and COVID are the same, but I am asking why people treat them as if they are VERY VERY different? And why people ignore flu deaths as inconsequential?

          Probably because far fewer people die of the flu, despite far more people getting the flu. You’re at least 100x more likely to die if you’re infected with COVID than if you get the flu.

          1. A fat, weak, unhealthy serf like you is more likely to die. Most of us here will barely notice the effects of COVID.

          2. Tell that to the people you murdered by not wearing a mask when you might have had the flu.

          3. 100x is just a lie…and exactly the sort of lie that I’m talking about…the real number is 3-4X. And for people under age 50, the risk of death from COVID vs flu are nearly identical, but for people over 80, COVID is ~10X more likely to cause death.

            As I said, COVID is more deadly than the flu, but it’s not *that* much more deadly.

            Feb 15, 2021 COVID Death Risk Is 3.5 Times That of Influenza

            The risk of death from COVID-19 is more than triple that from seasonal flu, researchers in Canada say.

            Their findings are similar to recent studies from the United States and France. The study was published Feb. 10 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

            “We can now say definitively that COVID-19 is much more severe than seasonal influenza,” said study author Dr. Amol Verma, a researcher in the School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

            “Patients admitted to hospital in Ontario with COVID-19 had a 3.5 times greater risk of death, 1.5 times greater use of the ICU, and 1.5 times longer hospital stays than patients admitted with influenza,” he said in a journal news release. These patients were also more likely to be put on a ventilator.

            Dec 18, 2020 — The death rate among COVID-19 patients was 18.5%, while it was 5.3% for those with the flu.

            In-hospital mortality significantly higher with COVID-19 than flu

            Feb 10, 2021 — Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had a mortality risk that was nearly 3.5 times higher than those hospitalized with influenza,

            Lancet: Comparison of the characteristics, morbidity, and mortality of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza: a nationwide, population-based retrospective cohort study (March 01, 2021)

            After stratifying patients according to the main comorbidities, the in-hospital mortality for patients with COVID-19 was roughly three-times higher than that of patients with influenza, for all the main comorbidities except pulmonary bacterial coinfection, for which in-hospital mortality was two-times higher for patients with COVID-19

          4. The IFR for COVID looks to be under 1.0 for people under the age of 65.

            For children and younger adults, the estimated age-specific IFR was very low (for example, 0.002 percent at age 10 years; 0.01 percent at age 25 years), but it increased progressively to 0.4, 1.4, 4.6, and 15 percent at ages 55, 65, 75, and 85 years, respectively.

        2. I’m not saying that flu and COVID are the same, but I am asking why people treat them as if they are VERY VERY different? And why people ignore flu deaths as inconsequential?

          I don’t know why people view flu as acceptable. But we do and it is an excellent benchmark for ‘let’s do nothing different’. That was also the intent of the ‘this is just the fucking flu’. It becomes nihilist when the deaths just keep passing milestones and the utterers simply never care or pay any attention at all. I didn’t see any of that this time last year. All the deaths were in the future then. Denying what hadn’t happened yet isn’t nihilist.

          As for why covid and flu SHOULD be treated as if they are very different. It is the difference between something that is both novel and going to be pandemic v something that is endemic, already well on its way to some measure of herd immunity, and annually assisted there with proven vaccines. And apparently the difference between deaths as a % v deaths as an integer.

          The Imperial College model (another thing that was about one year ago) projected an IFR (true fatality rate) of I think 0.8 or 0.9%. Which projects out to a couple million lives if the virus is going to get all the way to herd immunity as fast as it prefers without anything stopping it.

          It appears Americans readily accept the notion of 0.8 to 0.9% (even if that is higher than flu) fatalities per year but not the integer formulation.

          1. Certainly flu and COVID are different, and COVID is more dangerous, seemingly 3-4X more deadly.

            One thing to consider: we have had vaccines for the flu for many years. We have flu-specific medications (e.g., Tamiflu). We have herd immunity to the flu. We do not usually see flu victims overwhelm the medical system. And flu still manages to kill tens of thousands of people most every year.

            We barely have a vaccine for the COVID. We have no COVID-specific medications. We have no herd immunity for COVID. COVID was close to overwhelming some parts of the healthcare system.

            And with all that, COVID is only 3-4x more deadly than flu? Punk-ass virus.

            With our woeful defense against it, COVID ought to be running up the score like Georgia Tech vs Cumberland. (For those missing the reference: “The 1916 Cumberland vs. Georgia Tech football game was the most lopsided in the history of college football, with Georgia Tech winning 222–0.”)

  19. Fuck you!

    Over half a million innocent US citizens died in one year of a virus made in North Carolina and released in China.

    1. Over 100,000 died on SleepyJoe’s watch in one month.

      1. Yeah, Obama stopped gain of function experiments on viruses in 2014, so they went to China along with continued US funding.

        Trump, MAGA brought it back in 2017 but the work and funding to China continued.

        Do you think that the 500000 innocent US citizens were aware of the risks?

    2. “Over half a million innocent US citizens died in one year of a virus made in North Carolina and released in China.”

      Tin-foil hats on Aisle 6, nazi.

      1. Cripple fight!

        1. Which corner are you in?

    3. I see that QAnon doesn’t have a monopoly on conspiracy theories.

  20. I believe what you meant to say was “Saying we’re in a lockdown, but letting snowflakes just do whatever the hell they want because they’re assholes doesn’t work.”

    There is no better way to not spread a disease than STAYING HOME AND NOT SPREADING THE DISEASE. But instead we pretend to do a bunch of flimsy quarter-measures so it LOOKS LIKE we’re in a lockdown, and it only hurts the people who actually give a shit about trying to not harm others.

    This all started when we said that pit bulls and peacocks and cobras could be “emotional support animals” entitled to the same privileges as having an actual working seeing-eye dog, and no one said anything because feewings. Now people have literally died because of your lethal narcissism.

    1. How on earth could every single person “stay home”?

      1. People who couldn’t stay home could have been better protected by others being the slightest bit conscientious instead of throwing the biggest fucking baby tantrum in the universe over hygiene measures.

        Trumpists need to unfuck their brains or go the fuck away. They killed half a million people and tried to overthrow the United States. Just much of a free pass does being a horrible white cunt get you?

        1. People who couldn’t stay home could have been better protected by others being the slightest bit conscientious instead of throwing the biggest fucking baby tantrum in the universe over hygiene measures.

          Except most of the outbreaks were in prisons and nursing homes, dumbass.

          1. What about your statement contains the assumption that therefore you should get to be free to spread your disease on other people?

            1. Just tie a plastic bag around your head at the neck and you won’t have to worry about it.

      2. By relying on an all encompassing government to provide for them.

      3. I wonder how many of those people demanding longer lockdowns would feel if things were *really* locked down. Being able to run to the grocery store or Wal-Mart or picking up your favorite take-out…those are all ways and places where you can infect other or be infected, even if you’re wearing a mask.

        So I mean *really locked down*: no grocery stores, no Wal-Mart, no fast-food drive-throughs, no pizza delivery, no Uber-Eats or Door-Dash or whatever. No Amazon or Target online. No home delivery. No jogging, visiting a park, etc. You’ll stay in your house or else–we’ll allow you to wander around in your own backyard (backyard only), if you have one.

        For food, what you’ll get is a government truck will deliver a box of food for one person to eat for a week, and drop off the boxes at your front doorstep based on the number of people in your household (hope you didn’t lie on the census form!). Each week, you will be told to line your household up at the door, one at a time, so they can be counted; this will inform the number of food boxes dropped of at your house. An armed escort will accompany the delivery person to ensure that no one opens their doors while the delivery person is within 20 feet of the door. Don’t do that, because you could get shot. The delivery personnel and their guards will be in full MOPP gear.

        If someone in your house needs medical care, call 911 and an ambulance will be dispatched. People in full MOPP gear will pick up your sick loved one and take them away for treatment. If they live, you’ll see them again.

        The ONLY “essential” personnel will be those involved with treating COVID and for producing and delivering the food. These people will be issued uniforms and ID lanyards. So there’s no reason for anyone one else to ever venture outside of their house and anyone on the streets who is not in uniform obviously has no business being there, and will be subject to immediate detention in physical quarantine facilities.

        That’s how you lockdown. I’m pretty sure some governors and others have this as a wet dream.

  21. “Who will finance our debt when it reaches 300 percent of GDP? Who will finance the debt Uncle Sam will need to pay for the $101 trillion in unfunded liabilities accumulated by Social Security and Medicare?”

    That almost seems like a “trick question;” ok, what country can afford to do this?

    And then they [yeah, Chicom] do, they can’t attach whatever conditions they want. Like get the Navy out of the South Pacific and watch as we quell the rebellious province known as Taiwan.

    For a start.

    1. can attach conditions…but if they can get us an edit button I might be more accepting of that.

  22. Is this whole article about a straw man of a zero-risk society?

    Libertarians have far more to worry about on this front. You have to price the risk of everything if you want efficient and just markets. There’s no fudging. I get to sue you for not wearing a mask on my porch. I get to sue you for forcing me to work in unsafe conditions. I get to sue you for looking at me funny.

    That’s what we get in the absence of regulations. Otherwise you’re just asking people to suck it up and die for the common good.

    1. You are all messed up inside.

    2. For someone who likes to mock Christians, you sure do love to sacrifice to the God of the Precautionary Principle.

      1. Come into the light of the gray areas. It’s nice and nuanced, like the better cheeses.

        1. But you’re not nuanced at all; you literally believe that COVID is going to kill everyone, just like you believe climate change is going to kill everyone.

          1. Climate change probably will.

    3. “…I get to sue you for not wearing a mask on my porch. I get to sue you for forcing me to work in unsafe conditions. I get to sue you for looking at me funny.
      That’s what we get in the absence of regulations…”

      Ken has shitstain nailed; it’s not that he’s dishonest enough to post bullshit like this, it’s that he hasn’t the mental capacity to realize how stupid this is.

    4. Tony Summarized —
      You’re all gonna DIE!
      Only Gov-God Tyrannical Dictation can ‘save’ you!

      That’s why everyone tells you to F-OFF Tony…

  23. Safety 3rd!

    1. 666th Amendment that mentions ‘safety’.. Oh wait; There is not federal authority for any ‘safety’ short of national defense.

  24. Steve Horowitz recently wrote, “The reality is that we can never achieve” a zero-risk society, and “the costs of trying to are enormous, in terms of both material resources and human freedom.”

    -or-

    President Trump, “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem.”

    I think the K.I.S.S. principle of Trump is what snowflakes found most offensive. Same with most of their comments….

    “1-butterfly, 2-butterfly, 3-butterfly and a rose; see!”, they say, “getting enslaved is goooood like 3-butterflies and a rose because butterfly wings and roses and cherry-picking, blah, blabber, ….. etc, etc, etc… an endlessly confusing and complex essay of deceitful fluff..” Like a salesman that just won’t stop talking B.S.

    1. Or perhaps it’s more that Trump was consistently wrong about everything.

      1. So, so wrong to have the lowest employment rate since the 60s. So, so wrong to have a booming economy. So, so wrong to have a strong dollar. So, so wrong to cut unconstitutional regulation. So, so wrong………………..

        OH WAIT; Maybe YOU’RE WRONG!

  25. In a classic problem of the seen and the unseen, this demand of de Rugy’s to “stop trying to create a zero-risk society” is, like all of the others from both the openers and the stimulators, an attempt to shift risks from those seen to be too brittle to endure or thrive through whatever would best fight the pandemic to those resilient enough to so do. That those too economically, intellectually, and emotionally brittle to avoid being a Covid reincarnation of Typhoid Mary whining and flailing enough to be all too easily seen gives them no rights to shift their risks to those economically, intellectually, and emotionally resilient enough to independently endure or even thrive through this pandemic, even if their very resilience makes it all too easy for them to remain unseen by those who refuse to see.

    Choosing the economically brittle hotel company over the resilient meeting app company, the intellectually brittle student that needs a government classroom over the resilient one that thrives with homeschooling, and the emotionally brittle neurotic distressed by a pandemic crimped social life over the resilient person that enjoys both solitude and companionship as the opportunity or need offers is choosing a brittle world over a resilient one.

    1. How’s this for resiliency? China is the only major economy in the world to come through 2020 with economic growth. It grew by about 2.4%, while the US economy shrank by about the same percentage. Maybe the choice isn’t between brittleness and resiliency, but resiliency and liberty.

      1. We have trueman, who has yet to show he is other than a scumbag troll hoping for clicks on his website, cheering for the CCP.
        Thanks, asshole, for confirming your idiocy!
        Fuck off and die, you pathetic piece of ignorant lefty shit.

        1. I like China, and they seem to have their shit together. I didn’t mean to offend anyone by pointing out that their economy grew while others shrank, though I’ve been around here long enough to know that some would be offended. I advise my younger readers here to learn Chinese. It will be a good investment. The CCP won’t last forever, don’t let it frighten you.

    2. “In a classic problem of the seen and the unseen, this demand of de Rugy’s to “stop trying to create a zero-risk society” is, like all of the others from both the openers and the stimulators, an attempt to shift risks from those seen to be too brittle to endure or thrive through whatever would best fight the pandemic to those resilient enough to so do. That those too economically, intellectually, and emotionally brittle to avoid being a Covid reincarnation of Typhoid Mary whining and flailing enough to b…….”

      Anyone care to try to discern any possible message from the bullshit offered by the TDS-addled piece of shit?
      Not me; fuck off and die, asshole

  26. If there is a permanent mask mandate in planes, I hope there will be legal action taken to rescind this.

    1. Bring a tall can of pringles and a giant soda. Eat them one. At. A. Time. Sip your soda slowly.

    2. Hope it works better than attempts to get the ID travel requirements ended.

      But most of the American public want “anything, please, just keep me safe!!!!”

  27. Sorry I missed the part where you offered any evidence that lockdowns don’t work. Why do you refer to policies designed to save lives as “draconian”; why is it considered punishment to try and save lives?
    *googles Veronique de Rugy*
    oh, George Mason, gotcha.
    Nevermind.

    1. I was struck by this as well. To quote:

      “All you have to show is that lockdowns ,,, costs far exceed their benefits.”

      A George Mason economist, no less. And of course nowhere are we shown anything of the sort.

    2. Over 500,000 deaths seem to be enough evidence; it’s not the author’s fault you’re too dumb to understand it.

      policies designed to save lives

      Another cotton-soft-ass Millennial bitch.

    3. “Sorry I missed the part where you offered any evidence that lockdowns don’t work.”

      Given that you are a lefty ignoramus, that is no surprise.

  28. Nothing stressful about half your family dying.

    I wonder if people commit suicide after half their family dies from a virus more or less often than they do because they can’t go to K-Mart.

    1. Funny how no one kills themselves over their relatives dying of heart disease and cancer, but a one-off common-cold variant is enough to send urban neurotics over the edge.

      1. Maybe because it killed 530,000 Americans in a year.

      2. Are you seriously downplaying this because Donald Trump downplayed it?

        You look at Donald Trump and see a man who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to epidemiology?

  29. Zero risk, zero reward. Who wants to live out their entire life in a cocoon?

    1. Cocoons reduce the risk of predation in the early stage of the insect life cycle. It’s one of nature’s survival strategies.

      1. Except the ones who stay in their cocoons end up dying.

        1. Nature’s cruelest law: They all end up dying.

  30. Watching “The Apollo Chronicles” and reminded once again that after the Apollo 1 fire, even the families of the victims made comments to the effect that “they died doing what they love” and “we must continue in their memory” . No calls for stopping the carnage, or exploration.

    50 years later, look at attitudes now, of course we’re still stuck in low earth orbit.

    1. Have you heard of the Gemini (two man) program that preceded Apollo? Gemini 9 featured a space walk that failed. Astronaut Eugene Cernan went EVA (extra vehicular activity) in a mission that was a total failure. The engineers responsible had little idea of working in microgravity environments and the space craft didn’t feature hand holds and other later developments. The stress and added activity caused Cernan’s heart to race and he began to overheat. Stinging sweat pored into his eyes and his visor completely fogged up. Rather than ignore the risk and complete the mission (to try out a jet pack) Stafford, the commander of the craft, cancelled the mission and ordered Cernan to return.

  31. A zero-risk society?
    The problem is NOT that we are trying to create such a monstrous impossibility (and spending trillions of dollars to do so)….but that so many Americans believed that they — pre-pandemic — already HAD a zero-risk society….and that the Virus wrecked it ….and that hiding from the Virus will restore it!.

    And truthfully….Pre-Pandemic, the world we inhabited certainly seemed to be a world without real risk (at least real risk that the Woke American actually recognized and accepted). No plagues, no famines, no war, no revolution, no tsunamis or earthquakes or Godzillas or Kongs or armies of the Undead! We KNEW absolutely that if we ate right, and exercised, and watched the good TV shows, and read the Expert’s books, meditated, went organic, cut out gluten, became infused with mindfulness, made good choices, and had just a modicum of luck… Well we knew we wouldn’t get sick, we’d live forever, the semi wouldn’t topple over on us, the mudslide down the California coastline wouldn’t bury us. We knew we’d age gracefully (as per all those magazine covers), cuddle grandkids, and ride our bicycles long distances. Life — pre-pandemic — was good. The fabric of our day-to-day unwrinkled.

    People died, sure. We all knew that. But it was an abstract thing which occurred after a full life (save the rare tragedy). And all the new cars made you absolutely safe on the road. And all the new guidelines made you absolutely safe in your home. And the market was doing well and we all took the ice-bucket challenge!

    What the heck; why worry? The risk of dying was still there, of course, just as it’s always been there. But we were happy to pretend it wasn’t.

    So when Covid came along it was an utter shock. People died because SICK. People died even if they rode bicycles. And every day we counted the dead and our shock deepened. “Even one death was one death too many!” That idiocy was crowed by every talking head. And we believed it. Death, we thought, was NOT an ordinary fact of life and could be dodged and should be dodged (if only evryone would wear a mask!)

    The average age of the Covid death was 76, each averaging 2.4 comorbidities per. In 12 months we saw 545K deaths. The horror!.

    [But shhhh, don’t tell us that in that same timeframe 600,000 died from cancer. And don’t talk about the 655,000 who died from heart disease. And let’s not mention that the 545K was only 17% of the total mortal harvest and that for every single Covid death which caused Biden to shed tears and lower flags, there were FOUR completely unremarked tragedies whose funerals were empty, hollow shadows because Lockdown.]

    No, the real problem is not that we are obssesed with the impossibility of creating a zero-risk life….but that too many have come to believe that we actually had it and can regain it…IF we follow the Rules and listen to the Experts, and have Mama and Papa tuck-in our kicky blankets and tell us what to do!

    Everyone listen-up! We must make Good Choices now, you hear! The Fauci says so!

    Maybe one day we’ll grow-up.

    1. Keep.

      Your.

      Disease.

      To.

      Yourself.

      Cunts.

      1. Why would you be concerned about diseased cunts?

        1. Spent my life avoiding them, and I think that’s my right as an American.

  32. A lot of people took inordinate, even crazy risks to achieve a better life. I have French ancestors who fled to Canada in the late 1600s and early 1700s to avoid the persecution of Protestants by the French crown. I’m sure people today would say that simply being Catholic would be less risky than sailing the North Atlantic on a wooden ship, to an area that was far less civilized than France.

    My both of my great grandfathers on my mother’s side, along with their wives, left the Great Lakes region for Kansas, while the cavalry was still dealing with an Indian population that was not keen on moving into the Oklahoma Territory. My mother and her siblings, as children, regularly found arrowheads on my grandfather’s farm. So, that was an indication that the area (southeast Kansas) was probably not that safe, when my great grandparents settled.

    A lot of smart people say that a life without risk is not worth living.

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